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MEDIA RELEASE: New report released today reveals environmental and economic unviability of fracking the Beetaloo


Media release- 11th October 2021

New report released today reveals fracking the Beetaloo environmentally and economically unviable

New economic and climate analysis released today has revealed that it is unlikely gas companies could make money from fracking the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin while also fully and accurately offsetting their domestic lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. The report, written by leading provider of forecasting for the Australian energy markets RepuTex, outlines high pollution, high costs, and a risk of stranded assets from fracking in the Beetaloo.

The RepuTex report concludes that “In line with NT policy and Recommendation 9.8 of the Pepper Inquiry, the inclusion of carbon costs is likely to have significant implications for the commercial viability of Northern Territory gas basin projects, with potential for emissions liabilities to add between $1 - $2.5 per GJ to the cost of Beetaloo basin gas, varying with the modelled production scenario.

The costs of offsetting emissions through the use of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) could be up to $22 Billion, according to the report.

Environment Centre NT Co-Director Kirsty Howey said that “this report shows that, on top of the disastrous effects for the climate that would result from fracking the Beetaloo, it is also economically unviable.”

“The Gunner Government promised Territorians that there would be no net increase in life cycle emissions produced in Australia from fracking the Beetaloo Basin.

“That means gas companies would need to pay between $3billion up to $22billion to offset the Beetaloo Basin’s carbon pollution over the first 20 years of production.  On any measure, that makes fracking unviable. It’s the end for fracking the Beetaloo Basin.

“The report also shows that any proposal to use carbon capture and storage (CCS) to offset Beetaloo emissions is unsupportable.

“At a time when the International Energy Agency has made clear there can be no new gas fields in the world, and given the Northern Territory Government’s commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050, to proceed with a new gasfield that would catastrophically increase emissions makes no sense whatsoever, environmentally, or economically. We need to keep it in the ground,” said Kirsty Howey.

“The report— which uses conservative assumptions and has been undertaken by a company frequently used by government and the gas industry itself - shows a real risk of stranded assets for the industry if fracking the Beetaloo goes ahead.”


For further comment, contact Kirsty Howey 0488 928 811

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